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Signs of Spring — and Hail

March 12, 2010

Though I’ve been enjoying early spring crops like asparagus and artichokes for days now, I was hoping to kick off our signs of spring series of posts from YSFP friends and staffers all over the country with some flowers. Specifically, the hyacinths that my family plants  each year for the Iranian New Year, which starts on the first day of spring. In Farsi they’re called sonbol, and they’re part of the traditional place settings that are arranged to welcome the season, along with somagh (sumac), sekkeh (traditional Iranian coinage), serkeh (vinegar), senjed (jojoba fruit), sabzeh (wheatgrass sprouts), and samanoo (wheat pudding). In all it’s called the haftsin — literally, seven S’s!

But back to those hyacinths. The afternoon I was to take a photo of them in their flowerpot on my back porch, we got a taste of a true Oklahoma spring: a tornado warning. The weather was beautifully warm, but exactly half of the sky was sunny and exactly half was ominously cloudy, as you can see here (along with the just-sprouting redbud trees):

As we looked out the window, there was another surprise: pea-sized hail! For a good five minutes, and with the sun still shining through the clouds, it pummeled down on our backyard. And those hyacinths?

Their tender shoots survived, but not so much the flowers. It’s all just a part of spring in Oklahoma.

Look out for more posts during this the last week of winter, about signs of spring from all over! Next up, our new photographer Ryan Nees with a report from Indiana.

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